A year ago today, I ran my first half marathon… and puked at the finish line.
It’s bizarre to me that since then, I have ran two more half marathons – three total - all in less than a year!
I always feel like I’m not a very hardcore runner – that I’m somewhat of a fake because I’m so slow and I don’t always run in between training seasons.
Still, three half mary’s in less than 365 days is kind of impressive in my eyes.
Some people run multiple distance races per month, but that just ain’t me.
It takes me awhile to get pumped up for the training runs, eating around my runs and having intolerable stomach pains after long runs.
Three big races per year felt just about perfect.
I thought I’d do a breakdown of all three to compare – never done that before!
My first stab at 13.1 miles was at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in downtown Oklahoma City.
I remember being so nervous for this race. Before running it, the most I had ever run was 8 miles, and even that was with many walk breaks.
I considered dropping out about a hundred times, but somehow got the courage to make it to the start line.
I was so happy that my dad and stepmom came along to support me – I don’t think I would have had the courage to run it had they not been there.
The race was by far my best experience to date, my body seemed to be in shock about what I was doing – it never hurt or tried to slow down. At least not until the end when I barreled through the finish line and promptly puked. (I’m still proud of that puke to this day, it shows that I gave it all I had!)
I finished that race in 2:35:19 and couldn’t have been more happy with my time.
I immediately knew I wanted to run another race, which I thought would be a marathon. I signed up for thee Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa and started training a few months later.
Unfortunately, I didn’t train smart and wound up with an injury – causing me to drop back to the half marathon distance.
So I ran my second half mary in November, and it was definitely the hardest and most emotional run of my life - I ran right past someone who had died on the course!
I tried to keep a positive attitude, but I was under-trained for the hilly course and just didn’t have the right mindset.
Still despite copious amounts of walking in the last few miles - I finished.
To my shock, I actually beat my previous time – finishing in 2:30:06.
Despite the PR, I was kind of over running at that point. The emotional roller coaster of trying to train for a full marathon and not succeeding coupled with the taxing half marathon experience left me drained.
I told myself I’d take a long break and not run any more long-distance races for awhile.
Yeah… that didn’t last long. I hibernated through the winter, but as Spring began to near I was itching for another challenge.
I decided to run the A2A Half Marathon with Lisa, and actually got down and dirty with my training – following almost to a T, which is very unusual for me.
As the race approached, I felt as if I was in possibly the best running shape of my life. Surely I was going to kick that race’s ass, right?
Wind. Stomach pains. Ego. I’m not sure what it was, but the race sucked big windy balls. If you want to know how much, go to this website and search for bib 326. The photo of me right after I crossed the finish line says it all.
I still squeaked out a PR (mostly because I felt super strong up until about the last 4 miles), with a time of 2:27:35 – but the race left me feeling completely defeated (not to mention literally sick to my stomach for the next 48 hours).
I’ve only run a couple of times since then, and I think right now I truly am on an extended running break. I only like to run when it’s something I want to do, not because it’s something I feel like I have to do.
Still, I know the urge will come back.
Who knows how many races I’ll run in the next 365 days? Maybe zero? Maybe ten? Only time will tell.
I definitely have my eye on a few, and as soon as the itch returns to my feet I’ll hit the pavement again.
Until then, you can find me in downward dog, being all zen and stuff.
Have you ever run a half marathon? Full marathon? 5K? How did it go?